December 07, 2009

N.M. Delegation Congratulates VA Pharmacy Center for Winning Prestigious National Award

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall, along with Rep. Martin Heinrich, today offered congratulations to the Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordination Center in Albuquerque for winning the 2009 Baldrige National Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Baldrige award is the nation's highest Presidential honor for innovation and performance excellence. Winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., next year.

"This center in Albuquerque is working to ensure veterans across the country are getting the high quality care they deserve. I congratulate the employees who earned this prestigious award and applaud them for the important work they do," Bingaman said.

"What makes this award so special is that it represents excellence in every aspect. Quality improvement is an evolutionary process and I commend the entire team at the VA Cooperative Studies Program for their hard work, innovative spirit and commitment to excellence. They represent the finest example of exemplary service delivery in the federal government," said Udall.

"I congratulate The Center and its employees for earning the Baldrige National Quality Award, further demonstrating that our state is home to cutting edge businesses who are leading the way in innovation, customer service, and providing New Mexicans with quality jobs," said Heinrich (NM-1).

According to the U.S. Commerce Department award recipients were selected from a field of 70 applicants from across the country; five were selected as winners. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. The evaluation process for each of the recipients included about 1,000 hours of review and an on-site visit by a team of examiners to clarify questions and verify information in the applications.

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. Congress expanded the program in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations (including charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies). The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 80 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.